9/11 Inspired a Fellow Chicagoan to Serve
|On this day every year, we are reminded of the worst terrorist attack on US soil: 9/11. Many of us reflect on the visual memory of the planes unapologetically crashing into the Twin Towers. We’re reminded of the heroes who served that day, and every day after in response to that attack.|
One of our Board Members, US Army Veteran and Chicago native, Jose Carlos Vegas, being one of them. Vegas recalls experiencing firsthand the horrific events of that day working in the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the challenging days that followed. “I recall how many people were killed that day which represented many religions, races, genders, and all walks of life and how this diversity was reflected in the posted ‘Missing Persons’ fliers that seemed to surround the World Trade Center attack site in an endless collage of lost souls. This inspired me to join the Army at the age of 34 and go on to serve three tours of duty in the Middle East.”
Vegas also mentioned the diversity he served with mirroring that diversity he saw in the victims the day of the attack. “I went on to serve in combat zones with White, Hispanic, Black, Arabic, Asian, and soldiers from all walks of life which I believe truly reflect the unified American Spirit serving a shared sense of righteous purpose among diversity. In a time when America seems so hopelessly divided, this image of diverse entwined human fabric is what keeps my faith in America alive and I continue to believe America will ultimately overcome our challenges and return to be a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.”
This year, Vegas’s story was covered by ABC 7 Chicago, where he gave more detail on what he saw that day and how that impacted his decision to serve. Watch and/or read the full story here.
Vegas is scheduled to speak at Chicago’s 9/11 Memorial Remembrance Saturday at 7:30am in Daley Plaza. This will also be livestreamed on Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot’s Facebook channel: www.facebook.com/ChicagoMayorsOffice.
Today and everyday we mourn the lives lost on 9/11. We also thank Carlos and all others who served us that day, as well as every day before and after.